maverix

OMERS Ventures founder and former CEO John Ruffolo has unveiled a new growth equity firm wagering big bets on legacy companies retooling for the new economy.

The firm, called Maverix, is just about to close its first fund, a US$500-million pool backed by LPs including BMO, CIBC and Mattamy Asset Management, as well as two large pension funds that have yet to be disclosed. The fund is planning to invest up to US$100 million per deal.

John Ruffolo’s new firm has raised US$500 million for legacy companies that are investing in technological transformation. The former OMERS Ventures CEO said the fund aims to fill a gap in the Canadian investment space that sits between venture capital and buyout private equity.

Rather than back tech firms encroaching on traditional sectors, Maverix is looking to invest in legacy companies themselves. The firm aims to take large minority stakes in private companies in transportation and logistics, retail, health care and financial services, and that have never received outside investment. Ruffolo told The Logic last week the firm already has three prospects in its pipeline—including a company in the travel space, one in supply chain management and one in transportation and logistics—though no deals have been officially made.

Ruffolo said Maverix is looking to fill a gap in the Canadian investment space that sits between venture capital and buyout private equity. “We determined that the real demand was in those growth companies that are not technology companies that are seeking substantive capital. They don’t want to go public and they don’t want a controlled buyout transaction,” he said. “There’s nobody on the private equity side that will do minority investing.”

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